What’s next for teen MGP winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas?
Malcolm Offline

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What’s next for teen MGP winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas?
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Senior MGP winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas pictured by Isle of Man Newspapers at Peel breakwater earlier this month

He’s not yet old enough to ride an unrestricted motorcycle on open roads, but that didn’t stop stop Malachi Mitchell-Thomas from winning this year’s Senior Manx Grand Prix in only his second year competing in the Isle of Man.

Aged only 19 at the time, he not only won the race by a convincing margin but also broke the race and lap records that had stood since 2005.

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Senior MGP winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas chats to travelling marshal Jim Hunter

During a return visit to the island, to support a mhelliah at the Sulby Glen to raise funds for the MGP Supporters’ Club, he chatted about his record breaking Manx.

Even ignoring the Senior victory, his performance had been impressive. In the Junior race two days earlier, he become a member of the exclusive Tommy Clucas club: the elite band of about 10 riders in the Manx Grand Prix who have lapped at over 120mph on a 600cc bike.

But Friday’s win was an even sweeter victory having twice lost out to racing rival Billy Redmayne: first in the Newcomers’ race last year then in this year’s Junior race.

‘I raced in the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers’ in 2014 and came second to Billy by 1.8 seconds and then the same thing happened all over again in the Junior when I was second to Billy and again the margin was 1.8 seconds,’ he said.

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Malachi Mitchell-Thomas celebrates winning the Senior Manx Grand Prix

This year’s Junior race was reduced to just three laps rather than the usual four after the start was delayed by poor weather on the Wednesday of race week. When the roads finally dried out, the mist on the mountain lifted and a definite start time was announced over the paddock tannoy system, Malachi was feeling optimistic but fate intervened.

‘I had a problem with the bike overheating as I was coming over the mountain so I thought I’d better stop at the Creg-Ny-Baa,’ he said.

‘Then the bike dumped hot water all over me. That was on the second lap. But the bike seemed to be OK again so I carried on. That cost me 16 seconds with just one lap to go.’

Arguably the breakdown may have acted in his favour because on the third and final lap he put in his fastest time. It was enough to place him in the MGP 120mph-plus club, but not enough to win him the race.

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Malachi Mitchell-Thomas pictured powering through Union Mills on his to winning the 2015 Senior Manx Grand Prix (Mike Wade)

‘I lost to Billy again by 1.8 seconds,’ he said.

Following a familiar theme for this year’s Manx, the Senior was delayed to Friday afternoon, following the Lightweight, which had been rescheduled from its original slot on Wednesday after the weather delays.

‘The Senior was a different matter and I led for much of the race,’ he said.

‘Billy and I swapped the lead a few times. On the first lap, I led at Glen Helen, then he took the lead going over the mountain.’

At the start of the last lap, just two seconds separated the two riders but when Billy Redmayne got a 30-second penalty, he was effectively out of the running for first place.

‘Then I had a pit board that said, ‘P1; +87’. and I knew Billy must be out of the race. He had been forced to retire at Cruickshanks,’ Malachi said.

For the new second-placed man, Rob Hodson, who had ealier won the Supertwins race, it was far from plain sailing.

‘I found out later that Rob’s screen came off at Union Mills so he did really well riding the remainder of the race with no screen,’ he said.

Malachi, who comes from Bolton, has a background in British Supersport and British Superstock 600s, sponsored by Silicone Engineering, Winning the Senior was the crowning glory for him after coming so close in two previous races.

‘I was over the moon to win. It’s just been a great event and the Manx is a brilliant training ground for riders wanting to move on and do the TT. Everyone has been so friendly and supportive, going right back to the Newcomers’ weekend I did in 2014,’ he said.

Plans for next year include the major Irish meetings, the North West 200 and the Ulster GP, as well as the TT races in June. As a Manx Grand Prix winner, he’s precluded from racing in the Manx again, but he remains eligible for the classic races, now rebranded as the Classic TT, preceding the Manx at the end of August.

‘I’d like to come back and take part in the Classic TT as well,’ he said.

‘And I’d definitely like to come over and support the Newcomers’ weekends [for aspiring Manx competitors] in February and March,’ he said.

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30-10-2015, 03:32 PM
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Revvin rich Offline
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RE: What’s next for teen MGP winner Malachi Mitchell-Thomas?
This lad seems he,s got what it takes to be a top TT runner and at the age of 19 yrs is a serious prospect ! i hope he does well.
23-11-2015, 01:09 PM
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